Best Buy’s Geek Squad Ditches Retro-Chic Beetles For Environmentally-Friendly Priuses

Volkswagen Beetles? That’s so last decade, at least where Best Buy’s Geek Squad is concerned: the tech support service is trading in the retro, kitschy appeal of the VW Beetle for the environmentally-friendly Toyota Prius.

Best Buy unveiled plans today to overhaul the retro-chic image typically associated with its on-the-go Geek Squad agents from top to bottom.

For starters, Geek Squad — which was purchased by Best Buy in 2002 — is getting a new logo and a new marketing campaign called “We Make It Work” that highlights the services’ expanded offerings, such as installing home devices and theater systems.

“Today’s Geek Squad Agent is more likely to help a client with a new home theater experience, optimizing their Wi-Fi or smart security solution than the family computer,” Geek Squad Chief Inspector Nate Bauer said in a statement.

The service, which has more than 20,000 agents who visit homes 13,000 times a day, aims to help customers not only repair their computers, but to learn about and enjoy their technology.

“It is equal part tech savvy and equal part environmentally friendly,” Nate Bauer, the Geek Squad’s chief inspector, told the Star Tribune, of the company’s new vehicle look. “What we stand for has evolved.”

The vehicle change comes as Best Buy looks to make progress on its previously announced commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 45% by 2020. The company estimates that the new, greener Geekmobile will cut the Geek Squad fleet’s emissions by 50%, as compared with the previous vehicle, which rolled out nationwide in 2004.

As part of the revamp, select agents test drove five vehicle options, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. The company finally settled on the Prius, Bauer says, after employees felt it was the safest, most efficient, and had the updated technical features used by Squad members.

“The first thing I did was connect my phone to it to see what a phone call would sound like, what the quality of the call would be,” Bauer said. “As well, you can text via voice so the agents aren’t going to have their phones in their hands at all.”

Retail analysts tell the Star Tribune that the Geek Squad revamp could be a sign of the service’s future, noting that one day the Priuses could contribute to Best Buy’s piloted same-day delivery service.

“It’s an owned asset that Best Buy has had for awhile, but that arguably is more important than ever,” Carol Spieckerman, a retail consulate, said. “Every retailer is thinking about how do we create a seamless experience with solutions and services to where consumers don’t just buy products and go on their merry way, but leverage our full platform. That is hitting a fevered pitch in retail right now.”

Best Buy’s Geek Squad to swap Beetles for Priuses [Minneapolis Star Tribune]